China, Asia

China, is the largest country in East Asia and the most populous in the world with over 1.3 billion people, approximately a fifth of the world's population. It is a socialist republic ruled by the Communist Party of China under a single-party system. Since the introduction of market-based economic reforms in 1978, the poverty rate in the PRC has decreased from 53% in 1981 to 8% in 2001. Censorship of political speech and information is openly and routinely used to silence criticism of government and the ruling Chinese Communist Party. A number of foreign governments and NGOs routinely criticize the PRC, alleging widespread civil rights violations including systematic use of lengthy detention without trial, forced confessions, torture, mistreatment of prisoners, restrictions of freedom of speech, assembly, association, religion, the press, and labor rights. Regarding homosexuality, sodomy was decriminalized in 1997, and the new Chinese Classification and Diagnostic Criteria of Mental Disorders removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses in 2001. The situation has continued to evolve. There is no explicit law against homosexuality, neither are there laws protecting gays from discrimination, nor are there any gay rights organizations in China. It is believed that the Chinese policy towards gay issues remains the "Three nos": no approval, no disapproval, and no promotion. An Internet survey in 2000 showed that Chinese people are becoming more tolerant towards homosexuals. 

 

News & Reports:

 

Hong Kong has the 2022 Gay Games. Life for China’s LGBTI people may improve at last

I’m glad that Hong Kong won the bid to host the Games. But governmental attitudes towards LGBTI equality both here and in China remain archaic This month Hong Kong won the bid to host the 2022 Gay Games – the first time the Games will be held in Asia. The campaign to win the Games,… Read more »

Chinese man wins court battle against gay cure therapy

A state hospital in China has been banned from forcing a gay man to undergo conversion therapy intended to make him heterosexual. The monumental ruling has been hailed as a victory by gay rights advocates in China, according to The Times. The plaintiff, named Yu Hu, was forced by his relatives into the care of… Read more »

China’s Largest Gay-Dating App Tries Streaming

Life was tough for Ma Baoli after he came out and quit his job as a policeman. Five years later, his internet company Blue City is a top player in China’s LGBT market. Episode one of the Bloomberg video series Love Disrupted explores how the social networking app Blued is changing the way gay men… Read more »

Chinese tourists head to Thailand for preventative HIV drug

Bangkok (The Nation/Asia NewsNetwork) – Thailand, which has for years been a hot destination for Chinese tourists, has now also become a draw for those seeking to buy cheap drugs to prevent HIV. Pre-exposure prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, is a type of medicine that, if taken daily, can reduce the risk of HIV infection… Read more »

As Taiwan legalized gay marriage, China shut down its most iconic lesbian social media platform

“So much smog here, how can we see the rainbow?” @Melody commented on Weibo—China’s micro-blog site—following Taiwan’s ruling on same-sex marriage. On May 24, Taiwan’s constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, becoming the first place to do so in Asia. The ruling was an encouraging sign for LGBTQ communities… Read more »

China bans gay content from the internet

New rules will edit or ban content if it displays ‘abnormal sexual behaviors’ China has banned gay content from the internet, with the regulator calling it ‘abnormal’. Published by the China Netcasting Services Association, the regulation censors online content ranging from movies and documentaries to cartoons and educational videos. The new rules will edit or… Read more »

New York Today: Meeting a Gay Pride Grand Marshal

Good morning on this muggy Monday. The NYC Pride celebrations continue this week, leading up to the march on Sunday. Thousands of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender New Yorkers and their supporters are expected to attend the march, which will led by four grand marshals: Brooke Guinan, an activist, transgender woman and New York City… Read more »

Chao Xiaomi leads China’s fight for transgender rights

Clad in a fur shawl, a black silk dress and blood-red six-inch heels, Chao Xiaomi struts down a Beijing alley. Jaws drop. Some stare in awe. Others point and laugh. And some shake their heads and snicker. But Chao, who is biologically male but identifies as “gender fluid” and goes as “she,” is used to… Read more »

Army life: more gay-friendly in China than United States or Britain?

Despite decision not to censor gay scene in Beauty and the Beast, Beijing is not noted for its tolerance of the LGBT community. Even so, its military may be less biased against gay servicemen than its Western counterparts With its uncompromising image, the People’s Liberation Army of China may seem an unlikely employer of choice… Read more »

China’s gay scene attracts censorship and investment

Dating apps draw state money even though officially the lifestyle is stigmatised Chinese men are signing up en masse for gay dating apps China’s vibrant gay dating scene is attracting millions of dollars in investment, including from at least one state-controlled media group, even as embarrassed official censors curb the portrayal of openly homosexual characters… Read more »

Building a Community, and an Empire, With a Gay Dating App in China

Beijing — Ma Baoli was accustomed to secrets. By day, he was a police officer in northern China with a wife and a knack for street chases. By night, he led a life as a gay man, furtively running a website for gay people across China at a time when many were viewed as criminals… Read more »

Young gay men at the frontline of AIDS prevention in China

Young gay men are the frontline of China’s battle to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, with new cases occurring at one of the fastest rates of any segment of the population. More than 2,300 students between 15 and 24 tested positive for HIV/AIDS in the first nine months of this year, with new cases in… Read more »

HIV is growing so fast among Chinese youth that a university is selling testing kits in vending machines

As a growing number of young people (link in Chinese) become infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in China, a Chinese university in a high-risk area has started selling HIV testing kits in vending machines. The kits, which cost less than $5, are sold alongside snacks and drinks in the machines at China’s Southwest Petroleum… Read more »

China’s first-ever Gay Games team could be the largest delegation ever

China plans to participate in its first-ever Gay Games in Paris in 2018, and they are already poised to dominate — at least in terms of sheer numbers. “With already 20 registrations for badminton, swimming, volleyball, marathon, bike, track, triathlon and other sports, Team China is aiming to bring the largest delegation ever to participate… Read more »

China Grapples With HIV Cases Among Gay Men, but Stigma Runs Deep

Surge in infections worries health authorities and prompts soul-searching in conservative society Beijing—A health report from a southeastern corner of China has brought a disturbing truth into the open: HIV infections are growing rapidly among young, gay Chinese men. The trend is worrying health authorities—and prompting criticism of their efforts to respond—in a country that… Read more »

“No struggles, but also no joys:” What it’s like growing up gay in China

“What’s like growing up in China being gay?” This is often the first serious question I get when someone I’ve just met discovers I’m gay and grew up in mainland China. I understand their curiosity—the concept can seem almost oxymoronic. In totalitarian China, where everything is reined under the tight leash of the Communist Party,… Read more »

China’s gay rights charade

On Monday, Qiu Bai, a 22-year-old student from the city of Guangzhou, China, took the Chinese Ministry of Education to court in Beijing to demand that it change the way college textbooks talk about homosexuality. Right now, most of them call it a disease. The trial went mostly as Qiu had expected. A government official… Read more »

Student Challenges Homosexuality ‘Disorder’ Textbooks In China

A gay Chinese student is challenging her government over school textbooks that describe homosexuality as a mental disorder. Gay sex is not illegal in China and homosexuality was delisted as a mental disorder in 2001. Twenty-one-year-old Qiu Bai, a student at Sun Yat-Sen University in Guangzhou, told Reuters that “40 percent of the psychology and… Read more »

Risqué business: first Mr Gay China shows new, more public face of LGBT

Meng Fanyu has been voted China’s first ever Mr Gay, after a previous attempt to hold the competition in 2010 was shut down In a smoky, strobe-lit nightclub in south Shanghai, Meng Fanyu strides out on stage wearing a theatrical get-up of top hat, bow tie and black eyeliner. To the delight of a roaring… Read more »

China: Progress on LGBTI rights. But more to do

Public opinion shifting to accept LGBTI people & equal rights Peter Tatchell, Director of the Peter Tatchell Foundation, writes: LGBTI rights in China are moving in the right direction, slowly. The country’s ancient history and literature is scattered with references to gay men, such as Emperor Ai who, legend has it, cut off his sleeve… Read more »

China ‘bans Lady Gaga’ after Dalai Lama meeting

Communist party’s propaganda department reportedly issues ‘important instruction’ blocking singer’s entire repertoire from mainland Lady Gaga has reportedly been added to a list of hostile foreign forces banned by China’s Communist party after she met with the Dalai Lama to discuss yoga. The American pop singer, who has sold more than 27m albums, met the… Read more »

Increasing the visibility of LGBTS in China

Beijing – With the growth of social media, there is much more information on the community today, but they are still fighting for their legal rights. When his fellow playmates wrote love letters to girls, Devin Ji Guangyu, then 12 or 13, did the same, but also found boys to be attractive. He looked up… Read more »

Being LGBTI in China: A National Survey on Social Attitudes towards Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Gender Expression

With great support from dozens of national and local community, business and media organizations, nearly 30,000 copies of valid questionnaires were received from all provinces of China. The survey reflects the life experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex (LGBTI) people, and people with other non-conforming sexual orientation, gender identities and expressions, in regards to… Read more »

China rights: Gay people pledge not to enter into sham marriages

A social media campaign has taken off among China’s lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) community which sees members pledging not to enter into sham marriages with straight people. Since last week, a number of users on popular microblogging network Sina Weibo have been posting selfies of themselves with the hashtag #I’m gay and won’t… Read more »

Judge in China Rules Gay Couple Cannot Marry

Beijing — A judge ruled on Wednesday against a gay couple who had sought the right to marry, in China’s first court case addressing the issue of same-sex unions. The couple, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, filed a lawsuit against a civil affairs bureau in Changsha, Hunan Province, in southern China, after the office refused… Read more »

Watch The Trailer for China’s ‘First Gay-Themed Film’

The country’s censors have historically taken a dim view of homosexuality It is not a secret that the Chinese government remains uncomfortable on the subject of homosexuality. True, the world’s most populous nation decriminalized gay sex in 1997 and homosexuality was removed from the official list of mental disorders four years later. But the treatment… Read more »

China bans depictions of gay people on television

Content that ‘exaggerates dark side of society’ is banned from TV – from homosexuality to adultery, showing cleavage and even reincarnation The Chinese government has banned all depictions of gay people on television, as part of a cultural crackdown on “vulgar, immoral and unhealthy content”. Chinese censors have released new regulations for content that “exaggerates… Read more »

China removes gay high school drama from streaming sites

China’s first gay web series has been removed from streaming sites. Addicted – a 15-episode series about a gay high school couple – vanished from the internet without warning on Monday (February 22), leaving angry fans in the country unable to watch the last three episodes. According to local media reports, censors took issue with… Read more »

Social workers in Singapore not trained to deal with LGBT issues

Reports reveal that three quarters of social workers in Singapore said they have not had any training on LGBT issues. But one group is doing something to change that. Social workers in Singapore feel ill-equipped to attend to clients with LGBT-related issues according to Straits Times. In November 2015, a study published in the International… Read more »

Couple’s Lawsuit Is First Test for Same-Sex Marriage in China

Changsha, China — The two young men met through an online chat group. They began seeing each other every day. Long walks in the park. Movies and barhopping. Dinner with grandparents. On their first anniversary, in June, the men, Sun Wenlin and Hu Mingliang, tried to register to marry at a local civil affairs bureau… Read more »

First Chinese same-sex marriage lawsuit gets hearing next week

The first lawsuit to challenge China’s ban on same-sex marriage will go to court next week. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be the first to challenge… Read more »

China passes first domestic violence law, gay couples excluded

China’s largely rubber stamp parliament on Sunday passed the country’s first law against domestic violence, which covers unmarried people who cohabit but does not protect gay couples, a senior lawmaker said. China previously did not have a special law covering violence in the family, an issue often ignored to avoid bringing shame upon the family… Read more »

First lawsuit challenges Chinese same-sex marriage ban

What is believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind has been filed, challenging China’s ban on same-sex marriage. Filed by a gay man in Changsha, the lawsuit names a civil affairs bureau in the capital of the Hunan Province, for refusing to receive his marriage registration application. The lawsuit is believed to be… Read more »

Gay rights activists in China challenge homophobic textbooks

LGBT student activists have met with government officials from the Ministry of Education to remove textbooks which identify homosexuality as a mental disorder. LGBT activist Chen Qiuyuan has been lobbying the Ministry of Education in Beijing to remove textbooks from schools and universities that classify homosexuality as a mental disorder. In May Chen, a 20… Read more »

‘An important step’ for gay rights in China

Before she became enmeshed in a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit against the Chinese government, Chen Qiuyan was an ordinary college student struggling to come to terms with her sexuality. Early this year, the 20-year-old college junior was beginning to realize that she was a lesbian — her male classmates at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou didn’t… Read more »

Male rape now a crime in China

Chinese law previously only recognised sexual assault as a crime against women. Male rape is now officially a crime in China and will carry a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment. In the past, Chinese law only recognised sexual assault as an act against women, thus making it impossible for male rape victims to seek… Read more »

In China, Gay Marriage Is Between A Man And A Woman

In China there’s been a surge in xinghun, variously translated as “cooperative marriage” or “marriage-for-show”—that is, weddings between gay men and lesbian women. A young gay man in Beijing says that right now probably 50 percent of gays choose xinghun in order to assimilate into China’s conservative, family-oriented society. When gay men marry lesbian women,… Read more »

China’s censors approve first gay love story for theatrical release

A love story featuring a gay couple has become the first to get approval from China’s film regulators. The 2014 film ‘Seek McCartney’ was directed by Wang Chao. The announcement that the regulators had approved the film for a theatrical release was made by Wang on his blog. He said it was “a small step… Read more »

Chinese Expat Pens A Personal Story

Auckland, New Zealand – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency. Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a… Read more »

For China’s gay men, Dongdan Park in Beijing offers haven

In 1984, Ning Guofeng, a.k.a. “Lady Paris,” was arrested by police officers after visiting Dongdan Park in Beijing — the third time he was charged with “hooliganism” in seven years. Sent to a labor camp for three years, Ning, now 77 and known as “Granny Paris,” still keeps returning to the scene of his alleged… Read more »